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Having a change of heart about my career decision. Help!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,


I'm a recent 22yo graduate (2011) who has been working at a production company for about 7 months now. Recently I came to the realization that my heart isn't in it like I thought it would be. Possibly I was lying to myself thinking that the entertainment industry/Hollywood was my passion but it just isn't. I haven't quit yet but I definitely do not want to stay long term, not even in the same industry.


Food/Hospitality is my real passion, I have always loved cooking for myself and others, hosting parties and making sure people have a good time when they're in my company. I thought this might be more of a hobby: hosting parties, cooking for people, but of course people make livings out of doing such. I'm taking a 6 week condensed cooking course starting next weekend and I have also bought many books on how the restaurant and hospitality business works. My dream job would be that of a restaurateur but I know it takes lots of capital + smarts about the industry to get into it.


I really don't know what to do at this point as far as career decisions go. If this has happened to anyone else I would like to hear your story and any advice you might be able to give to me. Also, if anyone has any tips on starting off in the restaurant/hospitality business I would be more than happy to take your advice with open arms.


Thanks in advance!

Edited by LosAngelesRams - 5/9/12 at 6:41pm
post #2 of 7
You're fortunate that you realized this so quickly. I know quite a few people who spent years slogging in the entertainment industry only to come to the same conclusion at a much later age. My advice is to try to get from point A to B using what you already have. For instance, I know many production companies have catered lunches. Maybe after your cooking class you could propose catering some lunches for your present company. Additionally, try to use your contacts at your present company and see if there are other production companies who may be interested in catering services. Note that I'm not referring to providing craft services on set- that area can be difficult to break into and is substantially different. Also, you may want to look into a food truck. You would need a hook, but overhead would be much better than a restaurant. Start small.
post #3 of 7

I agree that you shouldn't make a complete break from you current company. Try to find a way to merge what you do now with what you want to do together. Make contacts, develop relationships, and see things from a bigger perspective.


But also don't think that the catering/restaurant business is all fun. I don't know how the industry is like today, but you should read some books about life in the industry. Bourdain wrote a popular book in the 90s I believe (Kitchen Confidential), which highlights the industry during the 80s and 90s. I'm sure the industry is better now and more developed (much like finance from the 70s and 80s to now), but I'm also quite sure some things hold true, namely the terrible hours, terrible managers, and crappy work when you first start out.

post #4 of 7
^ not to mention the cocaine and alcohol abuse, of course.
post #5 of 7

A bit of advice from someone who is 5 years up the road from you (that's me!). Certainly if you can pursue this passion, go for it. I'm in the same boat, making a transition to what I think I'll like a lot more. 


I will give two caveats though. First, if the transition means you default on loans or lose an apartment, save up some cash before you make the switch. One day when you want to own a boat, they won't care that you defaulted because you were following your dreams. You don't need much, just enough to eat Ramen for a few months until you can find a cash source. 


Second caveat, and this is the big one, you might decide in a few years that you want to do something else. I know from 23 - now, I've decided I wanted to do many things along the way, and felt passionately they were my path. I've learned that you owe it to yourself to responsibly (see first caveat) try to do whatever you think will make you happy, but just remember that your feelings on it might change. 

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

This is all wonderful advice, and I thank you guys greatly. To the last poster, might I ask why/what it was that had you change your mind about things you thought were your passion?


For me, Food/Hospitality was always something I genuinely enjoyed doing. I only pursued a career in entertainment because I thought being a part of Hollywood would be really exciting (with all of the blitz and glamour and beautiful ladies) and have loads of benefits but as I've grown to realize, none of that really matters to me anymore and the amount of work that it takes to get to the top for me just doesn't seem worth it in the end.


Another reason why I've had a change of heart is because I also realized that if I'm going to devote so much time and effort into one thing, I'd rather that thing be my own than something someone else built. I'd rather build my own empire than work for one, per se. I just am not as passionate about film to want to build my own production company or talent agency.

post #7 of 7
I would like to work in a production company.

Not catering. How did this happen? Did you just apply for a bunch of positions and ended up in industry? Working in industry doesn't seem to be one of those things that just happens. Though, I suppose we all have changes of heart. Strange though.

Good thing is that food/ hospitality really is one of those fields were self-motivation is best asset. It's not like you need masters in hospitality or some such thing. But, this cut both ways. Starting a business is very difficult, and quite possibly will only make you question your "passions". Proceed with caution.
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